Iron is an essential mineral that your body needs to stay healthy. It helps in the production of hemoglobin, which carry oxygen through your blood, and myoglobin which stores oxygen within cells. There are many ways to get iron into your diet, including red meat, poultry, and seafood. However, it can be hard to meet daily recommended intake without supplements or food sources.
One way of getting more iron into your diet is through supplementation in the form of a multivitamin that contains iron. Another way is by eating foods rich in plant-based iron like fortified cereals and beans. Here are some nutritional facts about plant-based iron sources and how it compares to animal-based sources.
How Much Iron Is Found in Your Diet?
As mentioned, plant-based sources of iron are not as easily available as animal-based sources. Plant-based sources typically have a lower amount of iron, but they still provide enough to meet daily needs.
1 cup (8 oz) cooked lentils: 6.5 mg
1 cup (8 oz) boiled soybeans: 4.4 mg
1 Tbsp dry roasted soybeans: 5.7 mg
1/2 cup fortified cereal: 3.2 mg
1/4 cup cooked spinach
3 Tbsp canned pumpkin puree
Plant-based vs. Animal-based Iron Sources
Plant-based iron sources include fortified cereals, beans, nuts, and vegetables. Iron is found in a number of these foods, but the ones with the highest amounts are listed below.
Iron found in animal sources includes beef, poultry, pork, seafood. Poultry and pork rank low on the list of plant-based iron sources according to nutritional information.
Why Do Women Need More Iron Than Men?
The differences in iron intake between women and men are due to the difference in blood composition. Women have a greater proportion of hemoglobin that carries oxygen, while men have more myoglobin that stores oxygen. This difference means that men can use up to five times as much iron as a woman’s need, while women require many times more than this.
The daily requirement for iron is 9 milligrams for both genders, which is most commonly achieved through food sources like red meat and poultry. The recommended daily allowance of plant-based iron is 8 milligrams per day. Although plant-based sources may not be as rich in iron as animal-based sources, they are still a substantial source of it.
One way to get more iron is through supplementation with an iron supplement or multivitamin that includes this mineral. Some people may also want to opt for food sources of plant-based iron such as fortified cereals and beans because plant-based sources are healthier than animal-based ones.
How much iron do adults need?
Many people think that men only need about 11 milligrams of iron per day, while women need 18 milligrams. However, the recommended daily intake for adults is only 8-10 milligrams of iron per day.
Even if you don’t consume the recommended amount of plant-based iron sources on a daily basis, it’s not a problem. An adult can meet their daily intake by consuming three to four servings of food rich in plant-based iron sources each week.
Iron sources in plant-based foods
Iron is a mineral that can be found in many plant-based foods and supplements, but not all plant-based iron sources have the same amount of iron. Below are some notable differences between animal-based and plant-based iron sources.
Where Can You Get Plant-Based Iron Sources?
Iron is found mainly in animal products like red meat, poultry, and seafood. This is because plants don’t have the ability to store iron, so they need to be consumed in that form.
There are some plant-based sources of iron available on the market, including beans and fortified cereals. However, plant-based sources are not as effective as animal-based sources because they aren’t as easily absorbed by the body.
Furthermore, plant-based sources of iron tend to contain smaller amounts of iron than their animal counterparts. For example, 1 cup of cooked black beans contains 2 milligrams of iron while 5 ounces of beef steak provides 35 milligrams.
One study showed that people who supplemented with a multivitamin containing 15 milligrams daily had a 20 percent higher risk for anemia when compared to eating foods rich in plant-based iron. Another study showed that eating 2 cups of wheat germ and 0.5 cups of dried apricots daily provided 22% more iron than supplements with 15 mg per day did over a period of time.
Additionally, women who ate a diet rich in plant-based foods had nearly half the risk for developing anemia when compared to diets rich in animal products like
Iron in Supplements
Iron is a mineral that your body needs to stay healthy. It helps in the production of hemoglobin, which carry oxygen through your blood, and myoglobin which stores oxygen within cells. There are many ways to get iron into your diet, including red meat, poultry, and seafood. However, it can be hard to meet daily recommended intake without supplements or food sources.
Iron is an essential mineral that can be found in plant-based foods as well as animal-based foods like beef or venison (just not pork). Plant-based iron has a better bioavailability when ingested compared to animal-based sources due to its shorter biological pathway from soil to human physiology. In addition, plant-based iron also has a lower risk of side effects since it does not have the same level of ‘poisons’ as animal sources such as heavy metals like lead and cadmium found in animal-based iron sources.
Iron in the Body
Iron is a mineral that helps maintain healthy red blood cells in the body. There are three forms of iron: heme, non-heme, and total iron. Heme iron is found in animal products such as beef, pork, poultry, fish and shellfish. Non-heme iron is found in vegetables like spinach, broccoli and greens. Finally, total iron is found in foods like cereals and beans.
The amount of plant-based sources of iron vary depending on the types of plants eaten by the individual. For example, while one cup of spinach provides 1 milligram of non-heme iron per serving—it’s equivalent to 0.3 milligrams of heme or total iron per serving. Another example is black beans which provide 3 milligrams per cup but only contain 0.4 milligrams of heme or total iron per serving, making them a good source for those looking for more heme but less total iron from plant sources.
Animal-based sources like beef provide 20 to 30 times the amount of heme than non-heme sources like spinach does per ounce but also has about twice as much total Iron as non-heme sources do per ounce making it a great
Women are typically more prone to iron deficiency than men, because they have more blood, which is why they need more iron. But there are a few other reasons that women need more iron than men. If you’re not getting enough iron, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about supplements to help you get the iron you need.